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Political Science Today
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Political Science Today

First Edition
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Politics (General)

July 2019 | 328 pages | CQ Press

“This is a solid textbook for an intro course... It follows different approaches in the discipline, going subfield by subfield from Political Theory to American Politics, Comparative, and IR. It has a strong introductory chapter that helps disentangle the relation between politics and political science.”
—Manuel Balan, McGill University

Political science has changed; the way students learn has changed; so too should the way it’s taught. This is political science, today. 

Political Science Today by Wendy Whitman Cobb gives students a holistic view of the subfields that make up political science by dedicating one chapter to each of the topics at the core of the discipline. Unlike denser texts on the market, Political Science Today uses a field-based approach that allows students to engage with the material directly and dig into each of the discipline’s diverse subfields while also developing critical thinking skills, discerning the differences between politics and political science, conducting and consuming research, and broadening their future career aspirations. 

The book’s innovative table of contents begins with foundational tools like theories and research methods, then builds up to subfield chapters on Comparative Politics, International Relations, American Government, Political Economy, and Public Policy and Administration. Current case studies throughout the text provide a backdrop for engaging classroom discussions on topics such as President Trump’s travel ban, ISIS as a state, and strengths and weaknesses of the United Nations.  This unique approach provides short segments of topic coverage, plenty of summarizing content and review questions, as well as comprehensive learning objectives which will help students understand the realities of political science today.

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PREFACE
APPROACH TO THE BOOK  
SUPPORT FOR INSTRUCTORS AND STUDENTS  
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS  
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
PART I: FOUNDATIONS
 
CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS POLITICAL SCIENCE?
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN POLITICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE  
HISTORY  
IS POLITICAL SCIENCE A SCIENCE?  
MAJOR CONCEPTS OF POLITICAL SCIENCE  
PLAN OF THE BOOK  
CHAPTER SUMMARY  
 
CHAPTER 2: RESEARCH METHODS
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS  
QUANTITATIVE METHODS  
QUALITATIVE METHODS  
QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE METHODS IN POLITICAL SCIENCE  
CASE STUDY: DEMOCRACIES AND CONFLICT  
CHAPTER SUMMARY  
 
CHAPTER 3: POLITICAL THEORY
THE ANCIENTS TO THE ENLIGHTENMENT  
THE ENLIGHTENMENT  
CHALLENGES TO LIBERALISM  
CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY  
THE STATE OF POLITICAL THEORY TODAY  
CASE STUDY: JUSTICE AND TAXES  
CHAPTER SUMMARY  
 
PART II: INSTITUTIONS AND BEHAVIOR
 
CHAPTER 4: CONSTITUTIONS, LAW, AND JUSTICE
CHARACTERISTICS OF CONSTITUTIONS  
SYSTEMS OF LAW  
THE COURT SYSTEM  
CASE STUDY: INTERNATIONAL LAW AND COURTS  
CHAPTER SUMMARY  
 
CHAPTER 5: ELECTORAL AND PARTY SYSTEMS
PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEMS  
CASE STUDY: THE ITALIAN PARLIAMENT  
PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEMS  
CASE STUDY: FRANCE’S HYBRID SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT  
POLITICAL PARTIES AND DUVERGER’S LAW  
CHAPTER SUMMARY  
 
CHAPTER 6: POLITICAL COMMUNICATIONS
ROLES OF THE MEDIA  
SHAPING AND MAKING THE NEWS  
MEDIA AROUND THE WORLD  
CASE STUDY: MEDIA IN RUSSIA  
THE INTERNET, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND DEMOCRACY  
CHAPTER SUMMARY  
 
PART III: SUBFIELDS
 
CHAPTER 7: AMERICAN POLITICS
CONGRESS  
THE PRESIDENCY  
THE COURTS  
POLITICAL BEHAVIOR  
CASE STUDY: THE TRUMP TRAVEL BAN  
CHAPTER SUMMARY  
 
CHAPTER 8: COMPARATIVE POLITICS
THE COMPARATIVE METHOD  
THE STATE  
CASE STUDY: IS ISIS A STATE?  
DEMOCRACY  
GLOBALIZATION  
COMMUNISM AND POSTCOMMUNISM  
AUTHORITARIANISM  
DEVELOPMENT AND DEVELOPING COUNTRIES  
CASE STUDY: INDIA  
NATIONALISM AND ETHNIC CONFLICT  
CASE STUDY: YEMEN  
CHAPTER SUMMARY  
 
CHAPTER 9: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
REALISM  
LIBERALISM  
CASE STUDY: STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF THE UNITED NATIONS  
CONSTRUCTIVISM  
FEMINISM  
WAR AND PEACE  
CASE STUDY: THE UNITED STATES AND IRAQ  
CHAPTER SUMMARY  
 
CHAPTER 10: POLITICAL ECONOMY
WHAT DOES POLITICS HAVE TO DO WITH THE ECONOMY?  
TYPES OF ECONOMIC SYSTEMS  
CASE STUDY: GERMANY  
GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT AND ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE  
INTERNATIONAL POLITICAL ECONOMY  
COMPARATIVE POLITICAL ECONOMY  
CASE STUDY: DOES DEMOCRACY CAUSE CAPITALISM, OR DOES CAPITALISM CAUSE DEMOCRACY? THE CASE OF CHINA  
CHAPTER SUMMARY  
 
CHAPTER 11: PUBLIC POLICY AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
STAGES OF THE POLICYMAKING PROCESS  
PATTERNS OF POLICY CHANGE  
POLICY ACTORS AND TYPES OF POLICIES  
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION  
CASE STUDY: GUNS, BUMP STOCKS, AND REGULATORY FIXES  
CHAPTER SUMMARY  
 
INDEX

Supplements

Instructor Resources Site
Instructors: The following online resources are included FREE with this text. For a brief demo, contact your sales representative today. 

edge.sagepub.com/whitmancobb

Instructor Teaching Site  

SAGE COURSEPACKS FOR INSTRUCTORS makes it easy to import our quality content into your school’s learning management system (LMS)*. Intuitive and simple to use, it allows you to

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*For use in: Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle

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SAGE coursepacks includes: 
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  • Intuitive, simple format that makes it easy to integrate the material into your course with minimal effort
  • Assessment tools that foster review, practice, and critical thinking, and offer a more complete way to measure student engagement, including:
    • Chapter quizzes that identify opportunities for improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives
    • Test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation
    • Activity and quiz options that allow you to choose only the assignments and tests you want
    • Instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provided
  • Instructor manual for each chapter that includes a chapter summary, lecture notes, discussion questions, and class activities, to support your teaching
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures so you don’t have to start from scratch but you can customize to your exact needs
  • All tables and figures from the textbook
Student Study Site
SAGE EDGE FOR STUDENTS enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:
  • Flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, and make it easy to maximize student study time, anywhere, anytime
  • Study Quizzes that allow students to assess how much they’ve learned and where they need to focus your attention
  • Meaningful web resources that facilitate student use of Internet resources and further exploration of topics
 

“This is a solid textbook for an intro course. . . . It follows different approaches in the discipline, going subfield by subfield from political theory to American politics, comparative, and IR. It has a strong introductory chapter that helps disentangle the relation between politics and political science.”

Manuel Balan
McGill University

“[Political Science Today] provides a straightforward, conventional, mainstream introduction to the contemporary discipline of political science. It is informative if not inspirational for students.”

John Zumbrunnen
University of Wisconsin, Madison

“A comprehensive yet easily understood textbook that brings together the study of government with an understanding of political science as a discipline.”

Marie A. Eisenstein
Indiana University Northwest

“It is accessible for students who have no background in the discipline, yet advanced enough that it does not overlook or ‘water down’ any pertinent information.”

Sterling Recker
North Central Missouri College

Sample Materials & Chapters

CHAPTER 1: WHAT IS POLITICAL SCIENCE?

CHAPTER 2: RESEARCH METHODS


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